Karlos Nasar Hit a 226KG Clean & Jerk. Is it an Unofficial World Record?

Come and take it: Weightlifter Karlos Nasar wants everyone to know that the top of the podium at the 2024 Olympic Games is already spoken for.

On Apr. 28, 2024, Nasar competed at a multi-sport athletic event in Germany called Bundesliga. There, and while weighing slightly more than the cut-off of his usual competition category (Men’s 89-kilogram), Nasar clean & jerked 226 kilograms, or 498.2 pounds.

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Does this make the cut as an unofficial world record in Olympic lifting? It might, depending on your perspective. The more objective reality is this: Nasar is the man to beat in Paris this August.

Nasar also took a crack at a 183-kilogram (403.4-pound) snatch personal record. He narrowly lost it behind. If successful, it would have exceeded, but not erased, the 89-kilogram snatch world record.

Karlos Nasar | Unofficial World Record?

Setting a world record in weightlifting is pretty straightforward. The International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) technical ruleset is a bit dense, but the gist is that new records may only be lifted at IWF-sanctioned, multi-country competitions. Simple enough. Nasar didn’t make the 89-kilogram bodyweight mark, and the weightlifting meet he attended wasn’t a “recognized” setting.

However, Nasar is hardly the only athlete in the world to lift crazy weights that won’t make it into the record books. Unofficial world records are typically performed under one or more of the following conditions:

The athlete lifts a weight that exceeds their class’s current record, but in a local or national competition outside the jurisdiction of the IWF.

The athlete exceeds their class’s current record in training, often while slightly above the bodyweight they typically compete at.

The athlete lifts a valid world record in competition, but tests positive for a banned substance or is otherwise disqualified from the event.

The athlete lifts a new record in a competition, but it is exceeded by another competitor within 24 hours.

Some recent examples include Romania’s Loredana Toma, who snatched an unofficial record of 121 kilograms in the training hall days before the 2022 World Weightlifting Championships, or USA’s Hampton Morris, who has clean & jerked four kilograms more in the gym than the 61-kilogram official world record (which Morris himself owns).

What of Nasar, then? His 226-kilogram lift is three kilos above the 89-kilogram clean & jerk record, and he did it in a formalized (though not overseen by the IWF) setting. But he reportedly weighed in “heavy” at about 91 kilograms

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Would most fans of weightlifting recognize this lift as an unofficial record? Probably. But consider the case of Rahmat Erwin Abdullah, who set the 209-kilogram world record clean & jerk in the Men’s 81-kilogram class while weighing just 76.67 kilograms. Is that lift also an unofficial record in the Men’s 73s, Abdullah’s “home” category

Unofficial records are a gray area in strength sports, but that ambiguity livens the conversation and makes things more exciting for the viewer. Ultimately, Nasar proved one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt: Come the 2024 Olympics, he’s the man to beat.

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Featured Image: @karlos_nasar_ on Instagram

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